RADIO FIVE LIVE
Late last night - after I'd written this Blog - the BBC phoned again, and this time it was for a radio discussion, once more on the subject of the Church, Holy Communion, and abortion. So at a quarter to midnight, there was a debate on Radio 5 about this, with an unusually ignorant Labour MP, whose name escapes me, saying of course he was a Catholic, and who thought that "Vatican 11" had said that everything was basically different now "and this is really important, there have only ever been two Councils in the history of the Church and this was one of them"...oh dear....and that the Church "should change its teaching on contraception" and that the problem was people like me. So there we are. I held my own, and explained as patiently as I could - which probably wasn't patiently enough - that he was not well informed ( er...in its 2,000 years of history the Church has had a good many Councils of which the Second Vatican Council was the most recent and reafformed the teachings of the others) but he claimed he had "read Vatican 11 that very afternoon" and knew all about it. To him "conscience" didn't mean a tool for examining what is right and wrong, in the light of objective moral truths and informed by Christ and the Church, but merely acting by your own feelings and making your own decisions. No wonder we so lack moral strength and goodness in public life if this is the commonly-held view.
There is something surreal about standing in the house late at night, broadcasting into a telephone in a deep debate, with bath and cocoa waiting, as it were...afterwards a nice Irish lady telephoned the BBC to express support and the Beeb arranged for me to phone her back and we chatted. I said I found these debates rather scary and she said that "Well, the fact is, God makes the waves of our lives and we just ride in on the crest of them" which is a grand way of looking at it.